This post is sponsored by PetAlive
I always like to say that I have had dogs since before I was born. There are pictures of me as an infant draped over my first Samoyed pup and I have been surrounded by animals ever since. I love them, they make life more full, more fun, and more satisfying, but whoever decided that dogs shouldn’t live as long as humans was throughly unfair! I’ve had my first personal Samoyed (meaning not a family dog, but my own!) for eight, just about to be nine, years now and it blows my mind! She’s still a puppy in my eyes but as she ages, I have to modify I how I care for her to make sure that she ages with grace in the best way she can.
I’ve teamed up with PetAlive to chat about six things that I do and use that help keep my sweet older Tinkerbelle happy and healthy as she ages. I do want to mention that I am not a doctor of veterinary medicine, so please do consult your vet before making any big lifestyle or supplement changes for your aging pup. The following six tips are all what have worked for me over my 30 years of raising dogs!
Six Ways To Help Your Dog Age With Grace
One: Pay Attention to Your Aging Dog’s Diet.
Just like puppies need to have specific nutrients to grow, older pups need nutrition that supports an aging body. Things like added glucosamine for joint health, fiber for digestion, and protein to support maintaining muscle all can support your pup as they age. Tinkerbelle, my soon to be nine year old, gets a high protein diet that varies in between kibble and re-hydrated food that is full of meat, veggies, vitamins, and lots of other goodness that comes from a balanced diet. On top of that I use specific treats that contain things like collagen to support healthy connective tissues and seaweed for extra minerals and vitamins. What you should feed your pup is based on the breed, weight, and medical history of your pup, so make sure that you’re seeing your veterinarian regularly to keep up with any changes that need to be made!
Two: Watch Pre-Existing or Breed-Specific Conditions
Every dog breed is a little bit different when it comes to aging and health, so being aware of your particular breed’s potential health issues is important! For Samoyeds they are prone to get overweight as they age that can lead to diabetes as well as hip issues! So for me, I have to pay close attention to Tinkerbelle and how much and how frequently she is eating in comparison to her activity level! So you can your vet or breeder what the possible issues your pup might grow into so you can keep an eye out for them. By the way, if you have a rescue pup or a mutt, you can still find out health conditions! There are plenty of different DNA tests that just require a swab of saliva from your dog. These can get a but pricey, but are worth it in saved vet bills down the road!
Three: Use Supplements!
As a human I use supplements constantly- vitamins, minerals, iron because I am chronically anemic, and so many more to keep myself healthy. Want the healthiest pups you can? Use supplements to support their wellbeing as well! Our pups, especially as they get older, have been taking supplements for as long as I can remember and there are a few ingredients that always stick out in my head: Arnica, Glucosamine, and Condroitin. These are some of the ingredients that I consider to be the most well known in aging pups’ supplements and they are wonderful but after studying herbalism I knew that they were just the tip of the iceberg!
I wanted something that had the trifecta I listed above, but with a formula that more robust and more focused. So when I found PetAlive I was super excited. Each of their formulas that I use is specifically targeted for supporting aging pups’ health and more specifically brain health and muscle and doing support. I have been loving four of PetAlive’s formulas in particular, so I’ll go ahead and break down their formulas below!
Muscle and Joint Support for Senior Dogs
Muscle and Joint Support M
Muscle and Joint Support M This supplement is in a liquid form to be administered by a dropper- it is for joint pain and stiffness!
Arnica Montana: Arnica is a beautiful yellow flower that is phenomenal for bruising, swelling, and inflammation. As your pup ages it can cause strain on their joints and arnica can help ease the issues that can arise with that!
Bryonia: Bryonia can help with swollen joints that are warm to the touch to bring down inflammation
Rhus tox: Known as the ‘Rusty Gate Remedy,’ is wonderful to help with pain due to arthritis or other musculoskeletal injuries.
Dulcamara: Helps your pups’ aging body assimilate to changing temperatures!
The following ingredients are considered tissue salts, which are low potency homeopathic remedies made from minerals.
Calcarea fluorica: This is present in bones, teeth, skin, connective tissue, and blood vessels.
Calcarea phosphorica: This is present in blood plasma, bones, teeth connective tissue, and digestive fluids.
Natrum phosphoricum: This is present in blood, nerves, muscles, plus brain and intercellular fluids. (This one in particular is great for helping maintain healthy oxygen levels!)
Natrum sulphuricum: This is found in intercellular fluids and helps eliminate excess water from the body’s systems.
Muscle and Joint Support-S
Muscle and Joint Support- S This supplement, that helps promote muscle, joint, and bone health and comfort, is in pill form- Tinkerbelle gets a little hunk of cheese to make sure she loves this each day!
Glucosamine– Glucosamine is the go-to for anything joint! Glucosamine is a combination of an amino acid and a sugar that form a compound that helps form the cartilage in your dog’s joints!
Devil’s Claw– This sounds scary, but it is just an anti-inflammatory and can help with pain. (Devil’s claw has some drug interactions, so make sure you consult your vet first!)
Chondroitin sulfate– Chondroitin promotes elasticity in cartilage, helping to make sure that your pup maintains adequate shock absorption in the tissues that line their joints.
Spirulina– Spirulina is a microscopic algae that is chock full of nutrients! It has been proven to help aid the immune system, improve gastro-intestinal health (digestion), and can even help with allergies!
MSM– MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) Is a sulphur compound that is known for its joint health benefits and can help to ease the discomfort from arthritis!
Yucca– Yucca is known to help with pain and inflammation in the joints.
Brain Health in Senior Dogs
Keeping your dog’s body healthy is a must, and keeping their brain healthy is just as important! I’ve been using two liquid formulas from PetAlive, to keep Tinkerbelle alert, sharp, and interactive as she ages!
Brain Health Senior Dog
The Brain Health For Senior Dogs supplement dropper is in liquid form and supports vitality, alertness, and concentration.
Gotu Kola– Aside from helping to strengthen tissues and blood vessels, Gotu kola can help calm the brain and ease irritability.
Green Tea– Naturally decaffeinated green tea contains potent antioxidants and is a rich source of several vitamins and minerals.
Nettle Leaf– Nettle is known for a number of things including helping to increase circulation, reduce inflammation, and boosting immunity!
Oatstraw– As a nervous system optimizer, oat straw can help calm nervous animals as well as stimulate the nervous system when given to debilitated pets.
Sage– Sage contains many important vitamins and trace minerals including niacin, magnesium, potassium and zinc and has been shown to improve memory.
Brain Health Booster for Senior Dogs
This Brain Health Booster helps support normal energy levels, and reduces absentmindedness and forgetfulness!
Baryta carb: A homeopathic that is said to support brain health and help prevent dementia and confusion.
Causticum– Used for helping to manage confusion and feeling overly tired in pups.
Lycopodium– Many older pups get nervous and anxious as they age, Lycopodium helps to ease these symptoms!
Phos– Phosphorous promotes circulation which is important for bringing blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the brain.
Four: Keep Them Active!
Active dogs are healthy dogs! Keeping your pups brain and body stimulated well into their golden years is a necessity of keeping them feeling young. While you have to be aware of the intensity of exercise as they age to make sure you aren’t exacerbating issues with joints and the like, you can keep them active just as you have their whole lives! Tinkerbelle at nearly nine still comes hiking with me for miles through the Colorado Rockies, and while she is slower and takes longer to recover than when she was younger, she still is the happiest when she’s outside with me! If you pup isn’t super mobile, keep their brains active! Food puzzles and play will keep their minds engaged and happy!
Five: Dental Care is Necessary
Your mouth is the beginning of your digestive system, and as such it needs to be cared for well! Dogs are especially prone to tooth decay because of the diets we have them on (if you use exclusively kibble, pay close attention!) Using things like dental chews, dog toothbrushes and toothpaste, and marrow bones are great for keeping your pups healthy! I even have a DIY natural dog toothpaste that your pup will love.
Six: Make Accommodations for Your Aging Dog
I will never forget the day I saw an older gentleman walking around a park in downtown Boston pulling his white-faced golden retriever in a little red wagon padded with a dog bed. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen, and I vowed that I would be that kind of dog parent some day! As our pups age the little things that make them the most comfortable matter. Maybe your pup might need stairs to get into the car, on the bed, or on the couch, they might get a little jumpier so something like the PetCalm spray from PetAlive could be helpful, or personally with Tinkerbelle, I can tell that she’s starting to get a bit hard of hearing, so instead of shouting commands, I tend to walk around so she can see me when I’m asking her to do things! Whatever it may be, paying attention to how your dog is changing, and noticing those changes, make sure you adapt to them!
While I don’t like thinking of Tinkerbelle getting older, I do realize that it is such a privilege to age. She has had a wonderful long life so far, and I hope she will be happy and healthy for many more years! Doing all the things I’ve mentioned about will keep Think happy and healthy, and that is all I can ask for!
This post was sponsored by PetAlive.
All opinions are my own. Some links are affiliate links.